For many groups tax filing time is just around the corner and almost all nonprofit organizations are required to file a 990 form. Just in the nick of time, we are here to explain who may use which 990 form and when it needs to be filed. Take a big sigh of relief, we have got the 990 process covered.
The IRS 990 Form
Most nonprofit organizations need to file an annual tax return with the IRS. Even though registered 501 (c)3 nonprofit organizations are exempt from paying taxes they do need to file a report that provides certain information, which is called the IRS form 990.
The 990 that is filed with the IRS will eventually be available to the public. It provides general information about the nonprofit’s mission, programs and finances.
Who Files the 990 and Which 990 to File
There are three types of 990 forms: the 990, the 990-EZ and the 990-N. The type of Form 990 that you need to used is dependent on the filing year and the gross receipts of the organization. Please review the below to determine which form you should file.
Who Does Not File
There are a few nonprofit organizations who are not required to file returns. These include many churches, religious schools and missionary organizations as well as subsidiaries of larger umbrella nonprofits who would file a return on their behalf. Other organizations who do not file are government groups and certain state institutions.
Deadlines may vary for each nonprofit. Form 990 needs to be filed by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your fiscal year. That means, if your fiscal year ended June 30th your 990 deadline is November 15th. Alternately, if your fiscal year follows a calendar year your deadline would be May 15th.
Consequences for Not Filing
Filing form 990 is a big deal. Failure to file for 3 years in a row can result in the IRS canceling a nonprofit’s exempt status, which means that your group will be required to pay income taxes. Furthermore, there is no appeals process to regaining your exempt status so it is important to take the time to file each year.
Who Can Access 990s
990s are public information. A nonprofit is required by law to make their IRS Form 990 available for public review during regular business hours. Many will forgo this hassle by making them available on their websites. They can also be found on Guidestar.org.
Using an accounting software like MoneyMinder makes the form 990-EZ easy. We have a free Form 990-EZ cheat sheet in PDF format that can help you decide where to put things. Contact us to request this.
Running late? You can request an extension. Go to irs.gov and search for Form 8868 in the box top right. An automatic 3 month extension is available, just for the asking. But you need to ask for it before your return is due.
There you have the basics of the IRS Form 990. We hope this makes your tax filing a little bit easier.